Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Call for Abstracts Due Jan. 29

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium Committee is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the Seventh Annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium. This event will highlight the research, scholarly, and creative activities of students throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, and will be held on ​Tuesday, April 12, 2016.  (Please note: All CAS classes beginning before 4:30 p.m. on April 12, 2016 will be cancelled that day for the Symposium.)

All students who are declared majors in a program within the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to participate in this year’s Symposium.  Current students, as well as December 2015 graduates, are welcome to present their work.  Presenters may choose to give an oral presentation, poster presentation, exhibition, or performance.  All presentations should have a significant research or creative component; examples of such include, but are not limited to, summer research conducted at Ashland University or elsewhere, results of independent study projects, thesis work, literary readings or analysis, musical or theatrical performances, and exhibitions of artwork.

All abstracts submitted require approval of a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student’s work and can attest to the quality of the work.  At the time of submission, students will indicate who their faculty sponsor is.  The URCA Symposium committee will then contact the sponsor via e-mail to confirm that the sponsor has viewed and approved the abstract.  In approving a submission, a faculty sponsor is indicating that the abstract meets the faculty sponsor’s standard for professional work, and that the abstract is print-ready.  Submissions that have not been approved by a faculty sponsor will not be accepted for presentation.

Students who wish to present at the Symposium should prepare an abstract in Microsoft Word and email that Word document to the URCA Symposium Committee at  Students must copy their faculty sponsors on the email that contains the submission. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2016.  This deadline is firm.

  1. Name of Student Presenter(s) 
  2. Campus AND Home Addresses of Student Presenter(s) 
  3. Class Year (e.g. junior, senior) and Major(s) of Student Presenter(s) 
  4. Name of Faculty Sponsor 
  5. College of Arts and Sciences program in which the work is focused (e.g. Biology, Psychology, Music) 
  6. Title of the Presentation 
  7. Preferred Format of Presentation (Poster Presentation, 12 Minute Performance, 12 Minute Oral Presentation, or Art Exhibition) 
  8. Special Equipment Required (PCs and projectors are provided; if no other equipment is needed, please indicate “No special equipment needed”) 
  9. Body of the Abstract (250 words or fewer) 
  10. Anticipated Scheduling Conflicts for Symposium on 4/12/16 (e.g. COBE/COE/CON class meetings, athletic events, other commitments that cannot be moved on this date; if none, please indicate “No scheduling conflicts anticipated”) 
Students who would like to see examples of acceptable abstracts may view abstracts from the prior years’ events on URCA blog (  Additionally, these submission instructions and helpful hints for preparing submissions will be archived on the blog.  The URCA committee will hold an abstract writing workshop in January in order to assist students in polishing their abstracts.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about presenting at the Symposium or the abstract submission process, contact Hilary Donatini or Diane Bonfiglio.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Congratulations to the URCA Student Presenters!

Wow, what a day we had on Wednesday! As is true every year, the students presenting their work at the URCA Symposium amaze me. I was impressed all day by the intellect, the creativity, and the poise of our presenters. Please indulge me as I share some of the photos I took during the poster sessions. If you have pictures you'd like to share, please email them to me ( and I'll upload them to the Facebook page and include them on a future blog post.

 Hannah Baumann

 Alison Biro and Peter Kobunski

 Kylee Bogner

 Nicole Brigham and Jimmy Lentine

Dr. Christopher Chartier, Sara Lautzenhiser, Emily Embrescia, Ashley Keres, Melissa Smith, Sara Amato, Emily Shrider, Edie Henthorne, and Olivia Perna 

Edie Henthorne (and family!)

 Ashley Keres

 Sara Lautzenhiser

 Danielle Rhonemus

Melissa Smith and Sara Amato

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tips from the Veterans #4

What another of our seasoned veterans wants new presenters to know:

"The most important thing is practice.  If you understand your project and the process you have taken to get there, you are half way there.  The other half is understanding how to effectively communicate your project to people who are not in your field or are just entering your field.  It was challenging to explain some of the complex scientific techniques used in my project, but my professors and my parents listened to me practice several times and gave me feedback. And of course, have fun! If you have worked hard on your project, sharing it should be an enjoyable experience."  --Lindsey Knapp (Biology), 2012 URCA Presenter

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We are grateful to Ashland University's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and its Director, Read Wakefield, for their support of the 2015 URCA Symposium! Thanks to their generous support, we are able to commission the construction of a movable wall that will be used for exhibitions of art in the Symposium. We are also thankful for the talented carpenters of AU's Facilities Management and Planning division, who are handling the wall's construction. Be sure to check out the wall when you attend the Symposium on April 8th!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Paul Pernici to Present at Posters on the Hill

Congratulations to 2015 URCA Presenter Paul Pernici, whose work "Comparing Feature Extraction and Feature Selection Algorithms in Pattern Recognition" was selected for presentation at the 2015 Posters on the Hill event! Paul's abstract was one of just 60 selected for inclusion from a pool of more than 500 submissions. Paul and his faculty sponsor, Dr. Paul Cao, will present his work to an audience of legislators in Washington D.C. in late April.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Presenter Workshops Set

The URCA Committee will host two workshops in March to assist students in preparing their URCA Symposium presentations. The Committee will host a Poster Presentation Workshop on Wednesday, March 18th at 8:00 p.m. and an Oral Presentation Workshop on Monday, March 30th at 8:00 p.m. Both workshops will be held in Schar 103.

URCA Committee members will offer tips and advice on presenting at the URCA Symposium.  Presenters who attend the Workshop should bring their presentation materials (in whatever shape or form they are in!) and will receive personalized feedback from URCA Committee members.  In previous years, presenters have remarked that they've found these workshops to be helpful, and we hope this year's presenters will find them helpful as well.

Though reservations are not required, it would be helpful for planning purposes to have a general idea of how many presenters will be attending.  Please email if you think you might attend.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The URCA Schedule is Set!

The URCA Symposium Committee is pleased to announce the lineup of this year's presentations! The Symposium will take place on Wednesday, April 8th in the John C. Myers Convocation Center on the campus of Ashland University.


Dr. Dawn Weber, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Courtney Bailey: Thomas Jefferson, Family, and Republican Education (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Schwarz, History)

Kelly Murray: Blocking the Expression of Zebrafish αA-crystallin to Determine Its Role in Lens Development and Cataract Prevention (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mason Posner, Biology/Toxicology)

Amanda Mayes: The Affective Forecasting Error: Predicting Negative Affect (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology)


Chris Beisel: The Work Involved in Live Radio Broadcasting: A Look Into What is Usually Only Heard (Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Steve Suess, Journalism & Digital Media)

Garrison Stima: “The ‘L’ Train” (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Joe Mackall, English)

September Long: Classical Ballet in the American Democratic Regime (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Sikkenga, History/Political Science)

Mack Reece: Characterization of the Bacteriophage AUEF3 Nucleotides (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paul Hyman, Biology)


Brandon Cook: Islamic Government and Footholds for Democracy (Facult Sponsor: Dr. David Foster, History/Political Science)

Johnathon Case: The Wisdom and Faith of King Solomon (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Louis Mancha, Philosophy)

Garrett Tresch: Sieve Bootstrap-Based Prediction Intervals for GARCH Processes (Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Maduka Rupasinghe, Mathematics)

Emily Cardwell: Intellect and Satire: The Role of Mrs. Selwyn in Evelina (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Hilary Donatini, English)


Poster #1 Ashley Keres:  Context Effects in Trustworthiness Ratings (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #3 Kylee Bogner: Synthesis of Four-Armed Star Block Copolymers for Potential Drug-Delivery Applications (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Perry Corbin, Chemistry)

Poster #5 Melissa Smith & Sara Amato: Impact of Reward on Helping Behavior (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #7 Hannah Baumann: Chemical and Toxicity Analysis of an Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Product (Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Doug Dawson, Biology and Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry)

Poster #9 Edie Henthorne: Consumer Behavior and the Impact of “No” Labels (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #11 Mackenzie Taylor: Chemical and Petrographic Analysis Indicates Differences in the Origin for Granitic Gneisses Within the Popple Hill Gneiss in the Adirondack Lowlands, New York (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Hudson, Geology)

Poster #13 Peter Kobunski & Alison Biro: Aluminum Cookware is a Potential Source of Lead Exposure in Developing Countries (Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry and Dr. Rebecca Corbin, Chemistry)

Poster #15 Nicole Brigham & James Lentine : Priming Optimism and Memory Function (Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology and Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology)

Poster #17 Courtney Troyer & Haley Pittman: Then and Now: The Kardiac Kids (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, Communication Studies)

Exhibition #1 Cecelia Maxwell: Sehnsucht: Longing for "Home" (Faculty Sponsors: Prof. Keith Dull, Art and Prof. Jessica Wascak, Art)


Poster #2 Ashley Keres & Emily Shrider: Many Labs 3: Time of Semester Effects (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #4 Alexander Kaple: Investigation of the Chemistry of Red Maple Foliage, Acer rubrum L. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry)

Poster #6 Sara Lautzenhiser: Switching Rules in Tacit Coordination: Deciding Who Will Act to Ensure Group Success (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #8 Olivia Perna: The Effects of Posture on Persistence (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology)

Poster #10 Edie Henthorne: Personality Traits and Online Dating: Differences in Age Groups and Gender (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Curtis Ickes, Psychology)

Poster #12 Rosalie Sepesy & Olivia Macek: Evidence for the Effect of Pond Type and Hydroperiod on Fall Zooplankton Abundance in Diverse Small Ponds at the Black Fork Wetlands Preserve (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Patricia Saunders, Biology/Environmental Science)

Poster #14 Lauren Miller: Obama and Isis (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, Communication Studies)

Poster #16 Emily Embrecia: Face and Object Memory Tests: Introverts and Extroverts with Anxiety Condition (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier)

Poster #18 CJ Hassmann: Synthesis of 2-alkoxy Ether Substituents of Niclosamide Analogs for SAR Study of Anti-tumor Activity (Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Rebecca Corbin, Chemistry and Dr. Nick Regan, Chemistry)

Exhibition #2 Danielle Rhonemus: The Fantasy Inside Reality (Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull, Art)


Abigale Brady, Fatima Imani-Smith, & Deric Dove: “Little Red Riding Hood” by Seymour Barab (Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Stephanie Sikora, Music)

Paul Pernici: Comparing Feature Extraction and Feature Selection Algorithms in Pattern Recognition (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paul Cao, Computer Science)

Megan Scarberry: Anglo-Indian Women and Competing Gender Roles in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharleen Mondal, English)

Samuel Mariscal: A Union Worthy of the Saving (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Burkett, History/Political Science)


Hallie Carrino, Halee Heironimus, & Kate Siefert: The Golden Periodical (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David McCoy, Journalism and Digital Media)

Joey Barretta: A Paragon of Proslavery Thought: The Forgotten Influence of Thomas Roderick Dew (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Schwarz, History)

Mary Moeller: The Effects of Essay Topic, Gender, and Education Level on Peer Grading (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology)

Kristen Herrick: The Importance of Sexual Reputation in Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Hilary Donatini, English)


Hallie Carrino: The American Obesity Crisis: How to Keep Our Freedom and Our Health (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rene Paddags, History/Political Science)

Joseph Scott Glorioso: Constant Speed or Constant Effort: Which Is the More Efficient Way to Run? (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Gordon Swain, Mathematics)

Benjamin Isaiah Black: Is Disney Art? (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Theatre)

Don Haught: Beatbox Flute: An Analysis of Greg Pattillo's 3 Beats for Beatbox Flute (Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Thomas Reed, Music and Prof. Jane Berkner, Music)


Rachel Yaeger, Hannah Thome, Shauna Spiesz, Dana Reed, Emily Minns, David Truesdell, & Kara Mewhinney: Pedagogy of Vanitas (Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Priscilla Roggenkamp, Art)

Sara Lautzenhiser: Video Game Perspective and Physiological Stress (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology)

Charles Michel: “Always be closing”: Really Existing Capitalism in Glengarry Glenn Ross (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady, English)

Rachel Ann Gollhardt: FDR's Dilemma: A Historical Documentary (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David McCoy, Journalism & Digital Media)